Preview: Bologna vs Inter – Team News, Lineups & Prediction

Stadio Renato Dall’Ara sets the stage for a handsomely-looking Serie A encounter between top-four hopefuls Bologna and runaway leaders Inter. Saturday’s clash in Emilia-Romagna is Nerazzurri’s dress rehearsal for a crunch Champions League meeting with Atletico Madrid next week.

Bologna proved their top-four credentials last weekend with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory at Atalanta. Thiago Motta’s side produced a second-half blitz to turn the game on its head, with goals from Joshua Zirkzee and Lewis Ferguson overturning Ademola Lookman’s first-half opener. 

Despite making it six league victories on the trot and, in turn, maintaining a four-point lead on fifth-placed Roma, the current fourth-place holders can’t afford to rest on their laurels. With 11 games left, there’s still plenty of work to do, but Rossoblu seem well-positioned to make a historic success this season.

Inter’s upcoming European commitments play into Bologna’s hands. After a 2-1 home win against Genoa last time out took Nerazzurri’s lead over second-placed Juventus to 15 points, manager Simone Inzaghi could hand a much-needed rest to some vital first-team stars. 

Regardless of the outcome, it’s a near-certainty they’ll have a second star on their shirt next season. Meanwhile, Inter will play Atletico Madrid in the return leg of their Champions League last-16 on Wednesday. Marko Arnautovic’s winner gave them a narrow lead ahead of their trip to Spain.

However, Atletico’s well-documented home prowess will probably force Inzaghi to experiment with his lineup on Saturday. That could give Bologna a chance to put more points on the board, but Motta’s team will have to earn them on the field.

Match Preview


In addition to winning their last six league matches in the build-up to this clash, Bologna have finally rediscovered their scoring touch. Since a dismal 2-1 defeat at Cagliari in mid-January, they have netted at least two goals in all seven Serie A games, suggesting a win against the division’s best team is not beyond them.

Adding to this sentiment, Bologna held Inter to a dramatic 2-2 draw in October’s reverse fixture. As if that wasn’t satisfying enough, Motta’s lads went a step further in Coppa Italia action, crashing back-to-back champions out of the competition via penalties in December. But it only gets better for the home faithful.

Renato Dall’Ara has been a fortress this season. Since Milan triumphed here on Gameweek 1, Bologna have gone unbeaten in all 13 league outings in their backyard (W11, D2) en route to mustering a league second-high 35 points on home turf.


Bologna’s superb home form would probably strike fear into the hearts of many clubs, but not Inter. Inzaghi’s men have been on a different level this season and remain the only side in Serie A yet to lose a game on the road in 2023/24 (W11, D2). 

Bringing other competitions and matches played on the neutral ground into the equation, Inter are unbeaten in all 18 games outside Giuseppe Meazza this term (W14, D4). However, Renato Dall’Ara has not been a happy hunting ground for the 19-time Italian champions in recent years.

They have lost their last two league meetings with Bologna at this stadium and risk making it three defeats in a row for the first time in the 21st century. But after scoring precisely four goals in their last two away league wins against Lecce and Roma, they’ll be confident of avoiding that fate.

Team News

Adama Soumaoro and Jesper Karlsson are the only Bologna players unavailable for Saturday’s showdown. But besides wonder boy Zirkzee, they’ll rely on Riccardo Orsolini, who netted a winning goal in this corresponding fixture last term and initiated their comeback at Meazza in October.

On the other hand, Inter will be without long-term absentees Stefano Sensi and Juan Cuadrado. After picking up a minor injury, Hakan Calhanoglu will sit this one out, meaning Kristjan Asllani will take his place in the midfield. Marcus Thuram is back from a short spell on the sidelines but will likely stay on the bench.

Bologna vs Inter Potential Lineups

Bologna (4-1-4-1): Lukas Skorupski; Stefan Posch, Sam Beukema, Riccardo Calafiori, Victor Kristiansen; Remo Freuler; Riccardo Orsolini, Giovanni Fabbian, Lewis Ferguson, Alexis Saelemaekers; Joshua Zirkzee.

Inter (3-5-2): Yann ommer; Benjamin Pavard, Acerbi, Alessandro Bastoni; Denzel Dumfries, Nicolo Barella, Kristjan Asllani, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Carlos Augusto; Marko Arnautovic, Alexis Sanchez.

Bologna vs Inter Prediction

With Inzaghi likely to field an experimental lineup, Bologna could be in a perfect position to spoil Inter’s 100% win ratio in 2024. While we wouldn’t go as far as to back Motta’s team for three points, we believe they could at least hold Nerazzurri winless.

Prediction: Draw

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